For over a decade, MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab has been conducting its flagship program, the Arab Startup Competition (ASC), which promotes entrepreneurship and technology based innovations and contributes towards a positive social change. The competition has resulted in many success stories and saw the growth of its alumni.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ecosystem has witnessed many changes; some startups have failed while others have prospered; everyone was affected differently. That’s why we decided to create a series of blog posts to shed light on some of the success stories of our Alumni. We want to inspire the future entrepreneurs, help them learn from the mistakes of others and encourage them to keep thriving.
Picture this, a mother of three coming back home every day to her family, having reached her personal and professional goals, yet experiencing a very common feeling of emptiness. This phase in your life when you feel like you can’t find this inner balance, and you just feel very disconnected to the world around you. This is the story of Suna Zoabi Othman, CEO of Tawazon. Back in 2020, during ASC 13th edition, Tawazon from Palestine won first place in the Startups track.Tawazon is the First Meditation, Mindfulness & Sleep App in Arabic worldwide. It seeks to improve the daily lives of the Arab people and families by providing daily, short, and scientifically proven meditation sessions.
So, how did it all come together and where did the idea come from?
It all started with the story of Suna who studied Chemical Engineering and worked in the field for 13 years. “I could not find my inner balance and reconnect with myself and the world around me”, says Suna. One day, while she was on her usual drive back home from work, she was listening to a TedTalk about meditation, and that was when she was introduced to the world of meditation and decided to explore the subject a little further. Although she was a bit skeptical given her scientific background, she decided to give the subject a chance. While diving into the world of meditation, she found out that there is no Arabic language option on meditation applications. This is where Tawazon’s idea emerged, the 1st meditation and mindfulness app in Arabic, with scientifically proven content.
Suna clarified that the idea and motivation were there. One day, she and her team came across the MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab website for ASC and that’s when their journey started. “Our team assisted in filling the application, giving the right mentorship and training, and continually developing their services. Plus, this competition was taking place at the beginning of the pandemic, so Tawazon and our team had to switch our operations virtually, which was also challenging.”
She continued with a delightful tone saying: “Close your eyes and imagine Suna pitching with three children around and a dog in the middle of the construction in our house” - this is a quick insight on the situation that she was in but they made it anyway.
As for Tawazon’s future business plans, the team is looking forward to expanding through the App Store and Google Play. The startup is also looking forward to launching Bulk subscription and mental fitness training. We’re sure there are still many surprises coming from this dedicated team and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
When we asked Suna what piece of advice she could give to future entrepreneurs, she said: “If you commit yourself like this to creating what you really care for in life, everything around you will get organized for your goal.”
With purpose, goal, and commitment, you have for yourself a perfect recipe for success.